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Kay K. wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Has anyone ever been born in the Vatican and, if they have,
  • Do they get a birth certificate from the Vatican seeing the individual is not necessarily Catholic?

I know that some non-Catholics visit the Vatican.

  • Would this make them a citizen of the Vatican?

Just curious!


  { Are babies born in the Vatican, citizens of the Vatican or of their home country? }

John replied:

Hi, Kay —

To be honest this question would be best directed to Vatican itself. We don't have the ability to answer this type of question.

Bear in mind, many nations don't give you birth right citizenship. In other words, just because you are born there, doesn't make you a citizen. This is the case in the United States as a result of the fourteenth amendment.

Prior to the unification of Italy, which took place between 1860 and 1870, the Vatican included a much greater area of the Italian peninsula. This area was known as the Papal States so I'd presume that their were non-Catholics, probably more Jews than Protestants, that were born there.

As for recent history, we wouldn't know. If your really want to know, I suggest you visit the Vatican web site and send them an email with your question.

To date, this is the only page I could find on their site with Vatican e-mails: Useful Information. You could also try using the information on our own page.


Richard replied:

Hi, Kay —

The Wikipedia article on Vatican City confirms John's point: Vatican citizenship is not conferred automatically by birth:

Unlike citizenship of other states, which is based either on jus sanguinis (birth from a citizen, even outside the state's territory) or on jus soli (birth within the territory of the state), citizenship of Vatican City is granted jus officii, namely on the grounds of appointment to work in a certain capacity in the service of the Holy See.

It usually ceases upon cessation of the appointment. Citizenship is extended also to the spouse, parents and descendants of a citizen, provided they are living with the person who is a citizen.[43][44]

Anyone who, on loss of Vatican citizenship, possesses no other citizenship, as judged by Italian law, automatically becomes an Italian citizen.[16]

As of December 31, 2005, there were, apart from the Pope himself, 557 people with Vatican citizenship, while there were 246 residents in the state who did not have its citizenship.

— RC

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